Homes plan for factory rejected

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A PLAN to build 18 affordable homes at the Hallam Mills factory site in Ilkeston has been turned down by Erewash Borough Council because of the loss of employment space in the town.

Leicester-based firm Westleigh Developments Ltd had been hoping to redevelop the old factory in Little Hallam Lane into two four-bedroomed houses, nine three-bed houses, two two-bed bungalows and five two-bed houses.

But planning chiefs at the authority decided to refuse the plan because the site is still suitable for employment purposes and is ‘attracting interest’ from potential users and its loss would harm the local economy.

Officers highlighted an article in the Advertiser earlier this year which revealed how knitwear firm Glenbrae Golf, which has a production base in Belper, was interested in opening a new factory on the Ilkeston site.

The decision notice report states: “The proposed development fails in a number of fundamental ways.

“Information received by the council and local press articles infer that the site is not only capable of use for employment purposes but also that there are employers who would potentially wish to take over the factory bringing approximately 50 jobs to Ilkeston.”

Planners at the council also felt the plan would have had an unacceptable impact on the surrounding area, would be overbearing for neighbouring properties and did not take into account the significance of the factory’s heritage.

And concerns were raised about bats currently roosting in the building as they are a European endangered species and no steps had been taken too ensure their safety.

But a spokesman for Westleigh Development Ltd said the firm would be returning with a revised application which would be submitted in the near future.

He added: “If this application is successful it will not only provide affordable homes for local people but it will also provide local employment opportunities.”

n To read the decision notice in full visit www.erewash.gov.uk.